CPSC Approves Strong New Crib Safety Standards as 2008 Federal Consumer Safety Legislation Bears More Fruit

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has recalled more than 11 million dangerous cribs since 2007. Detaching drop-side rails were associated with at least 32 infant suffocation and strangulation deaths since 2000. Additional deaths have occurred due to faulty or defective hardware. Federal crib standards had not been updated in nearly 30 years. But finally on December 28th, 2010 the CPSC approved new mandatory standards for full-size and non-full-size baby cribs.

The crib standards will cover used as well as new cribs. The mandatory crib standards will: (1) stop the manufacture and sale of dangerous, traditional drop-side cribs; (2) make mattress supports stronger; (3) make crib hardware more durable; and (4) make safety testing more rigorous. The rule will become effective on June 28, 2011.Suffolk County on Long Island became the first municipality in the nation to ban the sale of drop-side baby cribs in November of 2009.

Promulgation of the new rules was mandated by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA). That law imposed new testing and documentation requirements and sets new acceptable levels of several substances including those used in children’s toys such as lead and phthalates. Phthalates are chemicals used to make PVC (polyvinyl chloride) soft and flexible and are used consumer products, including toys, vinyl floors, vinyl fabrics, as well as soaps, paints, and product packaging.

To reduce the incidence of defective products, the CPSIA also imposed new requirements on manufacturers of apparel, shoes, personal care products, accessories and jewelry, home furnishings, bedding, toys, electronics and video games, books, school supplies, educational materials and science kits. It also increases fines and specifies jail time for some violations.

The crib standards will apply to anyone who manufactures, distributes or contracts to sell a crib; to child care facilities, family child care homes, and others holding themselves out to be knowledgeable about cribs; to anyone who leases, sublets, or otherwise places a crib in the stream of commerce; and to owners and operators of places of public accommodation affecting commerce. Child care facilities, such as family child care homes and infant Head Start centers, and places of public accommodation, such as hotels and motels, must have compliant cribs in their facilities effective 24 months after the rule is published.

The lawyers at Levine & Slavit have decades of experience handling personal injury claims involving dangerous and defective products. If you or someone close to you has been injured by a product that was not properly manufactured, designed or labeled, contact the offices of Levine & Slavit in New York or Long Island for their help. We have offices in Manhattan and Long Island, handling cases in New York City, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens and surrounding areas including Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester Counties. For 50 years spanning 3 generations, we have obtained results for satisfied clients. To learn more, watch our videos.

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